Molly Scott Cato, MEP for the South West and the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for Bristol West, pledges action on the Bristol’s mental health ‘crisis’, as the Green Party announces its key commitments to mental health wellbeing .
Greens are promising to give mental health real parity of esteem with physical health; ensure everyone has access to the treatment they need, and; introduce awareness and empathy education to help prevent bullying and school-based therapy to treat mental health earlier.
The announcement comes during Mental Health Awareness Week , which runs from May 8 to 14.
New figures released last month show mental health budgets are being cut across England , despite the Conservative Party promising to increase spending . Between 2013 and 2016 the amount of the health budget spent on mental health fell from 1.4% to 0.7% , three in four people who need mental health support are not getting it .
The issue is a pressing concern for young people, with a recent survey indicating 27% of students are affected by mental health issues . The number of young people seeking help for mental health problems in the city has risen dramatically from around 400 in 2010 to more than 3000 a year in 2017, according to the Bristol-based support service Off the Record .
Molly Scott Cato, who has been vocal on the need for more mental health support for young people, said:
“Greens are today pledging to make sure mental health is treated with equal seriousness to that of physical health so that we can finally support those who are suffering – very often alone and in silence – with the weight of a mental health illness.”
“The Conservative Party’s ideological commitment to the destruction of our public services has seen nearly 7000 mental health staff cut since 2010 , despite Theresa May’s warm words to the contrary. And the cuts are being felt being most acutely by young people and the most vulnerable in society.”
“We also need to look at the contributing factors of mental illness, including the increasing pressure young people are under. They struggle to find warm safe homes, are faced with exploitation in the workplace and many of them are carrying a great burden of debt. Greens are proposing taking an integrated approach to tackling mental health issues not just dealing with the symptoms.”
“As an MP, I will be a strong and determined advocate for the proper provision of mental health care services and fight to ensure the people of Bristol have access to the treatment they need when they need it. Young people in the city especially have suffered too long at the hands of a hard and heartless government indifferent to Britain’s mental health crisis.”
“The Greens are committed restoring a fully funded, truly public NHS and creating a caring Britain, free of mental health stigma. We won’t just treat illness but reverse the Tory Government’s failed policies to tackle the factors that contribute to poor mental health.”
 The Green Party will pledge to:
Give mental health parity of esteem with physical health
Make sure everyone who needs psychological therapy receives it within 28 days of being referred
Roll out of new school-based therapy to treat mental ill health earlier and awareness and empathy education to limit the likelihood of bullying
Jonathan Bartley, co-leader, and Amelia Womack, deputy leader, will announce the policies at 10.30am on Wednesday May 10, in Fort Royal Park, Worcester.